It appears that it did not take long for the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker to realise that someone there needed to respond to the complaint made by Manchester United over the alleged presence of a Sun hack when a protest took place outside the house of club executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. Because the Murdoch mafiosi have not only responded, they have ‘fessed up. That’s quite an admission.
Ed Woodward - provoked press confession ...
But then, as I posted earlier, you don’t mess with Man U. Moreover, those on the 13th floor needed to look just down the M62 to see what happens when you get on the wrong side of big Premier League clubs: recently, Liverpool FC banned the Sun from its premises. Not long afterwards, Everton FC followed suit. If the ban were to spread to Man U, it might easily cross town and take in Manchester City. That would not be good for the Sun.
The confession, therefore, was full and immediate. “The Sun, like all newspapers, vigorously defends its right to report. Following a tip-off that there was to be a protest a Sun reporter attended … The Sun accurately reported the events that unfolded. At no time was our reporter made aware of what was to take place nor incited it or encouraged any criminal activity … The article made it clear that the behaviour was criminal and unacceptable”. But they gave the group’s spokesman a platform.
... after this gathering
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, “The Sun has denied that it had prior knowledge about the manner of the protests and said it was ‘happy to cooperate fully with any police inquiry’”. It knew there would be some kind of protest, claimed it didn’t know it would turn nasty, but gave the group a platform anyway.
Also, it should have been blindingly obvious that the protests could turn unpleasant. Indeed, the Yahoo! News report notes that “During United's 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere just days before his home was attacked, some supporters were heard chanting about killing the executive vice-chairman”. Yet the Sun legitimised the protest by rocking up with not only a reporter, but also a snapper. And it gets worse.
So as a result, this gathering in 2010 ...
As I pointed out earlier, this report bears striking similarities to that covering a hostile gathering of supporters outside Wayne Rooney’s house in 2010. The spokesman for the group is quoted in both reports. Whoever filed the Rooney report must have been there, as it quotes what was said into the house’s intercom. Both reports feature photos taken in the dark which are not the work of someone passing by with an iPhone.
Worse still, unlike the Woodward story, where the executive vice-chairman and his family were away at the time, the Rooneys were at home when supporters visited. The whole family, including young children, were in the house. And it looks very much as if someone from the Sun was there with the group doing the intimidation.
... may mean someone else is looking for answers
So now that the Murdoch goons have owned up over the Ed Woodward story, it’s high time they did the same over the Rooney one. Then Man United and their fans can make an informed decision over whether they want any more to do with the Sun newspaper.
Because there is one highly effective solution to this behaviour: Don’t Buy The Sun.
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